(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Porcelain in the collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's national museum of design"

COOPER-HEWITT MUSEUM 



PORCELAIN 







SMITHSONIAN 

LIBRARIES 




> 

z 




1^)1 




£ v 



%m 



in 

x. 



ss 



<^ojj^ 



oiiniusNi NviN0SHiiws" > S3iyvyan libraries Smithsonian iNSTiTUTiON^NoiinuiSNi nvinoshiiws^ssi 

= CO = ^ ^ OT Z w ^ ' rt 

UJ ^™?X to /<$Sx w « co /^^SiS&fcv ^ /{®\ co 



o 

z 





IBRARIES SMITHSONIAN^INSTITUTION NOIinillSNI^NVINOSHllWS S3 I UVU a H^LI B R AR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^INSl 
z r^ z r^ v 2 r- z r- 



s^F^ I ^F s f# |^!F ^%^ |*^s ' 

= co £ en ■ *• ± w — z w 

oiiniusNi nvinoshiiws ssiyvyan libraries Smithsonian institution NoiinuiSNi nvinoshiiws S3i 

w j_ 2 "■* ^ z \ w z co ' 





I B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION N0linillSNI_NVIN0SHllWS t ' > S3 I hVU Q H^LI B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^NST 
to — CO . ^ z \ CO — to 




_1Z -»*--•-£ J Z 

OlinillSNI NVINOSHIIWS S3iyVM9n LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIlfUllSNI NVINOSHIIWS S3I 




33 



m 
Co 





co *■• tz co = co r: to *•. ± 

IBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIinillSNI NVINOSHIIWS S3IHVaan LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INST 
.*••• <2 z >v . co z ^ ^ co z ...,. co z 






oiiniusNi NviNosHiiws^ssiyvyan libraries^smithsonian institution NoiinuiSNi nvinoshiiws < °S3 

— .„ . CO ZZ CO ZZ (fi — ... CO 





ibraries z smithsonian" j institution NouniiiSNi" J NViNOSHiiws S3iyvyan LIBRARIES^SMITHSONIAN^INSl 

z r- z i~vz i- z r- 

2 /<&!&> 



m X^ac^ co *4%!W ~ 

CO *E co ^^2^ ~ ^inMs^y ^^us^y '<!jg&r pi 

^ NO.ini.lSN^NVINOSHllWS S3 I M VM a 11 LI B R AR I ES>ITHSON.AN-.NSTITUTlON W NOIinillSN.-NV.NOSHll^s's 




> 

z 



o 

z 

> 

z 





1 ^IF b 

C L,BRA R'ES^SMITHS0NIAN^INSTITUTl0N%0linillSNI^NVIN0SHilWS S S3IM^ 

z NOIini.lSNI n NVI^^ 

o ^<^w^x - ^<^>v o -^ — ^r-^ ^ . -. *" 2 

> 

LI B R AR . ES w SMITHSON.AN INSTITUTION N0.inillSN«;>.N0SHllWs"s3 I * VH 8 n'Ll B R AR I ES^SM.THSON.AlTlN 









CO 

Z •, CO 

^NOIiniUSN. NVINOSHIIWS^SH I * V* a nf L , BRAR . Es'sM.THSON.AN ^INSTITUTION W N0.iniilSN| Z NV.N0SHl.WS i S3 






CO 



z 

CO 



LI B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^.NSTITUTION N 0lini.lSN." J NV.N0SHl.WS Z S3 I U Vd 8 «Al B RAR I ES^SMITHSON.An'iN' 








^NOIinillSN^NVINOSHll^saiMVIian 2 L,BRAR,ES>,THS0NfAN-,NST.TUTI0N W N0.ini.lSNrNV. N 0SHll^S3 

X /W -saw ° 

^ LI B RAR I ES^SM.THSON.AN INST.TUT.0N^0«inillS N | Z NV.N0^I, WS ^S3 I M V« 8 llf L ' B R^AR I Es'sM.THSONIAN^INS 







.« CO 




Porcelain 



Cboper-HewTtt liSronry 



in the collection of 
Cooper-Hewitt Museum 




The Smithsonian Institution's 
National Museum of Design 



Porcelain 



UK 

3730 



in the collection of 
Cooper-Hewitt Museum 



* % 





The Smithsonian Institution's 
National Museum of Design 



Cover illustration: 
Germany, Meissen factory 

Allegories of the Continents: Africa 

ca. 1745-60 

Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of the Trustees of the Estate of James Hazen Hvde 
1960-1-28 



Illustration, previous page : 
France, Sevres factory 

Bowl, ca. 1765-1770 

Soft-paste porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of the Estate of Charles Sampson: 
the Charles Sampson Memorial Fund 
1977-57-4 



Usually when one is confronted with a masterpiece, one 
is absorbed by the end product and gives little thought to the 
method of its manufacture. Great works of art rarely look 
belabored, but rather give the impression of having been 
created with great ease. As someone who has had 
experience throwing pots of different clays, I know the 
special problems and difficulties of working in porcelain. 
Because of this I am especially pleased to introduce the 
Cooper-Hewitt Museum's collection of porcelain. 

With the intention of tracing the discovery and 
development of European porcelain beginning in the 
eighteenth century, and with some representation of earlier 
oriental antecedents, the collection contains fine examples 
from the major factories of Europe and the United States. 
Although not exhaustive, the most representative examples 
of each kind of production, from the early eighteenth 
century straight through to the twentieth, are included. 

Building on the strength of early gifts to the Museum, 
the collection today continues to grow and expand. It is a 
collection of which we are proud. We are extremely grateful 
to Janet Annenberg Hooker for having given us the 
opportunity to share it with a wider audience through the 
publication of this catalogue. 

Lisa Taylor 

Director 



©1979 by the 
Smithsonian Institution 
All rights reserved 
Library of Congress 
Catalog No. 79-5 1614 

Catalog design 
Lorraine Wild 




Illustration I 

China, T'ang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.) 

Amphora 

Stoneware 

Purchased in memory ofGeorgiana L. McClellan 
1958-94-1 



Few materials of such humble natural origin have risen 
to the great fame and universal popularity of porcelain. 
From a lifeless lump of clay the potter gives form to the 
material; from the intense heat of the kiln is born a pure, 
translucent, resonant and fragile material which satisfies 
the requirements of both fantasy and function. 

When Europeans were still relying upon less 
distinguished ceramic materials — earthenware and 
stoneware — the Chinese were experimenting with 
materials and techniques which culminated in a refined and 
superior true, or hard-paste, porcelain body. The secret of 
Chinese porcelain, unknown to Europeans for centuries, 
was based on the combination of materials — a white 
refractory clay (kaolin), and a feldspathic stone (petuntse). 
These two ingredients, called the "bones" and the "flesh" 
of the porcelain, were mixed and refined to produce a 
smooth clay paste. Formed on a wheel or in molds, the raw 
porcelain was then fired at an extremely high temperature 
(approximately 1300 degrees Centigrade) which fused the 
two materials completely. The glaze was also feldspathic, 
which allowed it to join completely and nearly imper- 
ceptibly with the body. Decoration could be added in 
several ways: molded ornament could be applied to the 
object prior to firing; underglaze colors (primarily cobalt 
blue and iron red) could be painted on the body and fired 
at the same time as the glaze; and over-glaze colors, 
composed of glasslike enamels in a wide range of hues 
could be painted on the porcelain after the first high- 
temperature firing. A second firing was necessary to affix 
the enamels to the surface of the body. This required a kiln 
temperature sufficiently high to melt the enamels, but at 
the same time carefully controlled to prevent melting or 
distortion of the object's shape or glaze. 

The specialized skills and materials of porcelain 
production represented a distinctly new tradition in the 
history of ceramics; true porcelain, with its unique 
qualities and characteristics was comparable, in some 
ways, to the long-treasured and prized natural material, 
jade. Chinese porcelain became the object of European 
admiration and passion, and the inspiration for important 
experimentation and innovation in the West. 

In 851 A. D. , Suleiman, a traveler in the East, recorded 
that "the Chinese have a fine clay of which they make 
drinking vessels as fine as glass; though they be made of 
clay, one can see the liquid contained therein." This early 




Illustration 2 

China, Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1912) 

Charger, 18th century 
Porcelain, enamel decoration 

Gift of Mrs. Howard J . Sachs in memory of 

Howard J. Sachs 

1977-48-11 




~< ' ^L*l ^ \ /A ^fl 




/^ 



Illustration 3 

China, Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1912) 

Plate, ca. 1795-1800, probably for the British 

Market 

Porcelain, enamel decoration and gilding 

Gift of the Trustees of the Estate of James 

Hazen Hyde 

1960-1-68 



reference to the appearance of hard-paste porcelain 
contains several important pieces of information about this 
special material which would influence the culture, art and 
politics of Western Europe. Although by 851 the Chinese 
had already enjoyed a long ceramic history, producing 
wares ranging from archaic earthenware vessels to hard, 
non-porous glazed stonewares (Illustration 1), true 
porcelain was probably not developed until the T'ang 
dynasty (618-906 A.D.), about the time when Suleiman 
wrote about it. His statement also acknowledges that this 
miraculous product of the potter's workshop was based on 
an unusual type of clay. This was one of the fundamental 
requirements for making hard-paste porcelain that 
Europeans were slow to recognize. Lastly, the objects 
produced from this clay could be highly translucent, an 
effect which cannot be achieved with other ceramic 
materials regardless of the thinness of the body wall 
of the object. 

The high regard which the Chinese maintained for 
porcelain was not unappreciated in medieval Europe. 
Marco Polo marveled at this unusual product during his 
visit to the East, and recorded its existence upon his return 
to Europe from the court of Kublai Khan at the end of the 
thirteenth century. However, actual examples of Chinese 
porcelain filtered into Europe only sporadically. It was not 
until the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) that any sizable 
quantities of porcelain, particularly of the well-known 
blue-and-white variety arrived in Europe by way of the 
overland trade routes. Even during the fifteenth, sixteenth, 
and early seventeenth centuries, Ming wares were 
accessible only to a very small, elite group of connoisseurs 
and collectors. Porcelain was, understandably, an 
expensive luxury and only those of aristocratic and 
wealthy position could afford the rare treasure. In order to 
capitalize on the more expedient sea routes to the East and 
thereby promote trade between Europe and the Orient, 
various East India Companies were organized in Europe 
during the early seventeenth century. These companies 
were responsible for massive imports of late Ming wares 
as well as those of the succeeding Ch'ing dynasty 
(1644-1912; Illustration 2). The Dutch East India 
Company's trade with Asia was founded at the end of the 
sixteenth century; the period of astonishingly large imports 
of porcelain occurred around the middle years of the 
following century. For example, on May 12, 1644, in the 





Illustration 4 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Tankard, ca. 1715 
Stoneware, gilt metal 

Purchased in memory of John Innes Kane 
1941-43-1 



Illustration 5 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Coffee Pot, ca. 1730 
Porcelain, gilded decoration 

Bequest ofErskine Hewitt 
1938-57-633 



midst of the turmoil surrounding the dynastic change in the 
Chinese government and the overthrow of the Ming 
emperors, an order for porcelain was placed for production 
in China "to be made fine, curious and neatly painted, 
according to the samples from Holland handed over." It is 
clear from this statement that the Europeans specifically 
requested forms and decorations which would satisfy 
European tastes and that they were to be copied from 
models supplied by the Dutch. This order, staggering in 
quantity, included 2,000 large dishes, 5,000 half-size, 
7,000 third and 10,000 quarter-size, 15,000 plates, 10,000 
large teacups and 40,000 smaller, and 20,000 brandy cups. 
This entire order totaled 304,300 pieces to be sent to 
Europe for an eager and affluent market. Designs painted 
on later porcelains made for export to the West were often 
of purely European inspiration (Illustration 3), but 
traditional blue-and-white wares remained popular 
throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and 
are still popular today. 

The passion for imported porcelain in Europe was, in 
certain instances, matched by similar affectations in the 
East. The Dutch, for example, were among the numerous 
Europeans who produced imitations of blue-and-white 
in other materials, particularly in faience (tin-glazed 
earthenware). On June 21, 1678 it was recorded that the 
Japanese governor of Chuzaemon requested mutton [!] for 
his meal, and asked that it be served 

"in a Dutch porcelain [faience] dish, and with it a Dutch 
jug or flask with Spanish wine. . . .It was fortunate that we 
still had available in the lumber warehouse 3-4 sample 
pieces of porcelain formerly sent from Holland to have 
similar ones baked here, and so we could satisfy His 
Honour's whims with the sending of a dish and a flask we 
filled with wine 

The East India Company representative who recorded 
this amusing incident adds a delightful aside which 
indicates his astonishment at the governor's preference 
for European ceramics: 

"Every now and then His Honour has rather many strange 
kinks in his head" 

The great popularity of Chinese porcelain in Europe 
and the economic advantages which could be gained by 
discovering the materials and methods of its production 




Illustration 6 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Cup and Saucer, ca. 1735-40 
Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Bequest ofErskine Hewitt 
1938-57-437 



were primary forces in the development of porcelain in the 
West. Early attempts at manufacturing porcelain included 
the short-lived factory of the Medici family in Florence, 
which was established about 1575 and had ceased 
production by about 1613; of the total output of this factory 
only about 60 pieces survive today. This was, however, not 
a true hard-paste porcelain, but an artificial simulation 
known as soft-paste. Innumerable problems with firing 
and glazing the intractable material prevented successful 
production of crisp, flawless wares as fine as those of 
the Orient. 

During the seventeenth century further experiments in 
the making of porcelain occurred in France; in 1673 Louis 
Poterat (1641-1696) of Rouen was licensed to make 
porcelain, and another factory was started in Saint-Cloud 
by the Chicanneau family. The latter enterprise continued 
into the eighteenth century, producing porcelains of the 
soft-paste variety. 

Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony (1670-1733) 
was a passionate, if not obsessive, collector and 
connoisseur of imported Oriental porcelain. Combining 
his love of this luxurious material with his keen sense of 
economic aggrandizement, Augustus recognized the 
potential of producing true porcelain at his own factory. In 
order to raise money to replenish his depleted coffers, he 
arrested and brought to his court an alchemist named 
Johann Friedrich Bottger (1682-1719). Bottger was an 
idealistic and ambitious young entrepreneur who claimed 
to know the secret of transmuting base metals into gold. 
After repeated failures at accomplishing the impossible, he 
was reassigned to serve as an assistant in the laboratory 
of Count Ehrenfried von Tschirnhaus (1651-1708), a 
renowned physicist. Laboratory research included 
experiments in the refractory qualities of various natural 
substances. With astonishing results for all of Europe, this 
research led to the discovery of the long-coveted secret of 
how to fabricate hard-paste porcelain. The assiduous 
efforts of these two men finally produced the correct 
combination of specific china-stone and china-clay 
mixture with the extremely high firing temperature needed 
to fuse the two ingredients into porcelain. 

Prior to the production of a white hard-paste porcelain 
Bottger developed a red stoneware of exceedingly fine and 
hard composition. The material was so hard, in fact, that it 
could be engraved on a diamond-wheel. An example of 



10 




Illustration 7 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Clock Case, model attributed to Johann 
Gottlob Kirchner, ca. 1730-1733 
Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of Irwin Untermyer 
1955-163-13 



this early red stoneware is in the Cooper-Hewitt collection 
(Illustration 4). This piece is in the standard European 
form of a tankard. The engraving on it, and on many of 
Bottger's red stoneware objects consists of traditional 
Western motifs — interlocking scrolls and foliage, and the 
owner's cypher or monogram. Expensive imported 
Oriental porcelains were often mounted in gilt-metal by 
Europeans to enrich and protect the fragile edges of the lip, 
foot and handle. This tankard is similarly treated. 

About 1708, a white clay was used in Bottger's studio 
for further experiments; from the techniques which had 
been developed at Augustus' factory was born a true white 
porcelain, the first European equivalent to the prized 
material which only the Orient could previously supply. 
Decoration of Bottger's early white porcelains included 
applied motifs — masks, acanthus leaves and other baroque 
designs. Gilded decoration in the form of European 
versions of Oriental scenes, called chinoiseries, became 
popular (Illustration 5). These fanciful and theatrical 
simulations of Oriental life depicted figures engaged in 
domestic and ceremonial activities — the taking of tea, the 
burning of incense, and the sharing of restrained 
philosophical conversations — all posed within feathery 
landscapes punctuated by gracefully swooping birds. 
Often surrounding these scenes were European motifs, 
such as scrollwork, derived from popular ornamental 
patterns like those published by the designers Daniel 
Marot and Jean Berain. 

It appears that certain of the gilt chinoiseries and 
many of the gilt-metal mounts fitted onto domestic pieces 
were produced in Augsburg, Germany, a center for 
distinguished work in silver and gold. The gilding of 
porcelain was generally accomplished .by painting the 
pattern with a mixture of ground gold and honey; a light 
firing in the kiln burned off the honey, leaving a lustrous 
layer of gold which was frequently thick enough to accept 
engraved details. 

After a short but brilliant career which laid the 
foundation of the Meissen factory of Augustus, Bottger 
died in 1719. Meissen production of the first half of the 
eighteenth century was distinguished by the work of three 
accomplished painters and modelers whose names have 
become synonymous with the Meissen style — the enamel 
painter Johann Gregor Horoldt (1696-1776), and the 
modelers Johann Joachim Kandler (1706-1775) and Johann 



12 




Illustration 8 

Germany, probably Meissen factory 

Pair of Elephants, ca. 1750, mounted as 

candleholders 

Porcelain, enamel and gilt bronze 

Gift of Joseph F. McCrindle in memory of 

Edith M. Feder 

1964-8-1 



13 




14 




Illustration 9 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Allegories of the Continents: Europe, Asia, 
Africa, America 

Various models by Kandler. Eberlein and 

Reinecke, ca. 1745-60 

Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of the Trustees of the Estate of James 

Hazen Hxde 

1960-1-28 



15 



Gottlob Kirchner (born 1706). 

Horoldt worked at the factory from 1720; his skill in 
painting the enamel colors and his enterprise in expanding 
the range of colors available resulted in an entire family of 
designs which share a common source of inspiration 
(Illustration 6). Early Horoldt scenes were often vividly 
colored chinoiseries, akin in many respects to the gilded 
decorations described above. These designs were soon 
supplemented by landscapes, floral patterns of both 
Oriental and European derivation, and a series of 
harbor views. 

From 1727 to 1733, the sculptor Johann Gottlob 
Kirchner was active at the factory as the chief modeler. 
Within a few years, Kirchner was joined by Johann 
Joachim Kandler, a sculptor who had been trained at the 
Saxon court. The creations of these two inventive and 
daring men stretched the potential of the medium to new 
limits. Their modeled designs were famous throughout 
Europe and were inspiration for the thousands of porcelain 
figures that populated the houses of the wealthy. The 
figures were incorporated into clocks (Illustration 7) and 
candleholders (Illustration 8), and they were enjoyed as 
table decorations. Until the advent of European porcelain, 
dining tables were frequently decorated with small-scale 
wax or sugar sculptures which often presented an 
assemblage of mythological, allegorical or historic 
characters. Porcelain provided a permanent version of 
these more ephemeral ornaments (Illustration 9) which 
in 1753 Horace Walpole described as the "Harlequins, 
gondoliers, Turks, Chinese and shepherdesses of Saxon 
China" so popular in the dining rooms of great houses. 

At the death of Augustus the Strong in 1733, the new 
king Augustus II appointed his minister, Count Heinrich 
von Briihl (1700-1763), to be administrator of the Meissen 
factory, a position which he held until 1763. It was not 
surprising that von Briihl commissioned the factory to 
produce his personal service of tableware. Large services 
had already been produced at Meissen, including the "von 
Hennicke" service of about 1735, and the famous 
"Sulkowsky" service of 1735-37. Von Bruhl's set, known 
as the "Swan" service is among the many distinguished 
works of Kandler. This superb and luxurious service, 
consisting of 2,200 pieces bears the arms of Bruhl- 
Kolowrat (Illustration 10). The brilliant evocation of 
water, shells, sinuous foliage and elegant swans in the 




Illustration 10 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Plate, from the "Swan" service, 1737-1741 
Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Purchased in memory of Commander Henry 

H. Gorringe 

1950-130-1 



16 




Illustration II 

Austria, Vienna, Du Paquier factory 

Cup.ca. 1730 

Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Purchased in memory of Miss Eleanor Gamier 

Hewitt 

1949-9-1 



molded decorations and the enamel armorial bearings 
make it one of Kandler's most renowned 
accomplishments. 

The Meissen factory reigned supreme in Europe 
throughout the first half of the eighteenth century; the 
Seven Years War which began in 1756 caused disruption 
and a subsequent decline in the factory's production. 
During the same period challenges to Meissen's authority 
and domination were issued by other countries and 
factories. Meissen's position and reputation had already 
become past history; developments at other porcelain 
manufactories enliven the history of eighteenth century 
porcelain. 

An early rival to Meissen was the factory at Vienna. 
In spite of stringent rules about protecting the closely- 
guarded secret of porcelain fabrication, the Meissen staff 
were, of course, familiar with both the materials and the 
processes involved. In 1719 a gilder and kiln-master from 
Meissen absconded to Vienna and relayed the secret of 
porcelain to Claudius Innocentius Du Paquier (died 1751), 
whose interest in capturing part of Meissen's market led to 
the founding of another company. Vienna porcelain of the 
early period was of a fine white paste, and distinguished 
by carefully painted decoration (Illustration 1 1). By 1744, 
economic pressures forced Du Paquier to sell the factory to 
the Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780). 

Other rival factories appeared throughout Europe 
during the second half of the eighteenth century, 
capitalizing on an expanding market for their products and 
the waning of Meissen as the leader in the field. Other 
factories represented in the Cooper-Hewitt collection 
include: Hochst (1746-1796); Nymphenburg (1747- 
continues today); Frankenthal (1755-1799); Ludwigsburg 
(1756-1824); and Fulda (1765-1790). Taking their lead 
from the artists at Meissen, these factories produced 
thousands of domestic items, as well as expensive and 
masterful figural works (Illustration 12). 

Many of the forms which make up a large percentage 
of eighteenth century production were designed to 
accommodate the new and fashionable beverages — tea, 
coffee, and chocolate (Illustration 13). Porcelain is a poor 
conductor of heat, which makes it an ideal material for 
vessels used for the serving and drinking of these liquids. 
During this period the forms in common use included 
squat teapots (often based on Chinese prototypes), 





Illustration 13 

Germany, Meissen factory 

Tea Service, mid-1 8th century 
Porcelain, yellow ground, and enamel 
decoration 

Gift of Mrs. Edward Luckemeyer 

1912-13-1-15 



Illustration 12 
Germany, Fulda factory 

Figure of the Virgin, ca. 1770-80, model 

attributed to Wenzel Neu 

Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of the Trustees of the Estate of James 

Hazen Hxde 

1960-1-42 



19 



chocolate pots with a second opening at the top to permit 
stirring of the thick mixture, and tea caddies in a myriad of 
shapes and sizes. 

Important developments occurred in France at the 
same time as the flourishing of German and Austrian 
centers. Until later in the century nearly all French 
factories were using an imitative soft-paste formula for 
porcelain rather than the recipe for hard-paste developed at 
Meissen. The composition of soft-paste varied from 
factory to factory, and often included finely ground 
glasslike materials which, when mixed with clay, 
produced a white translucent body. Other additives to the 
mixture were alabaster, steatite and ground animal bones. 
At the best known French factory, Sevres, soap was used 
as a component in the paste. Soft-paste porcelains are fired 
at a much lower temperature than hard-pastes, and the 
surfaces were frequently glazed with a lead-oxide. Painted 
decoration in enamel colors was fired to affix it to the 
surface. The enamels often sank slightly into the surface, a 
characteristic which, among others, helps to distinguish 
soft-paste porcelain. 

Other early French factories that produced soft-paste 
porcelains are represented in the Museum collection. The 
factory at Saint-Cloud was patronized by the brother of 
Louis XIV, Phillipe I, due d'Orleans (1640-1701), 
(Illustration 14). Saint-Cloud porcelain is notable for its 
pure white body and restrained decoration. Saint-Cloud 
designs were often closely related to similar forms in 
contemporary metalwork, particularly silver. Raised 
vertical ridges (gadroons) were a design element favored 
by seventeenth and early eighteenth century silversmiths, 
and at Saint-Cloud such patterns were frequently used. 

Two other major French factories are represented 
in the Cooper-Hewitt collection. The Chantilly factory 
(c. 1725-1800) was owned by Louis Henri de Bourbon, 
Prince de Conde, (1692-1740). The factory of Mennecy 
(1734-1806), established near Paris, is also represented. 

The Prince de Conde was an avid collector of Japanese 
porcelain, and it seems appropriate that much of the 
superbly crisp decoration on Chantilly porcelain is derived 
from the asymmetric Japanese kakiemon pattern 
(Illustration 15). A favorite motif was an exotic bird, 
perched on one leg atop a stylized rock. The enamel colors 
used at Chantilly are especially clear and intense — 
turquoise, brick red, and soft yellows. 




Illustration 14 

France, Saint-Cloud factory 

Cache-Pot, ca. 1730 

Soft-paste porcelain, underglaze blue 

decoration 

Gift of Mrs. George T. Bliss 
1907-23-8 



20 




Illustration 15 

France, Chantilly factory 

Cup and Saucer, ca. 1740 

Soft-paste porcelain, enamel decoration 

Gift of Mrs. Morris Hawkes 
1942-25-22 



21 



The great triumph of French porcelain was the factory 
at Sevres. In 1738 the brothers Gilles and Robert Dubois 
from the Chantilly factory moved to Vincennes and 
founded a porcelain factory. By 1759 the factory was taken 
over by Louis XV, and the manufactory was given the 
distinction of being the royal factory. The factory was 
moved from Vincennes to Sevres, near the chateau of Mme 
de Pompadour (1721-1764), who became a major patron of 
the porcelain works. Sevres porcelain, exquisite in details 
of modeling and decoration, became the most highly 
desired and imitated porcelain in the second half of the 
eighteenth century. Sevres artists developed a series of 
ground colors whose richness and variety cannot be 
equaled — daffodil yellow, apple green, and a soft pink, to 
mention only a few. The porcelains were also given added 
enrichment with superb gilding; details such as leaves 
are engraved with minute veins and surface textures. 
The Cooper-Hewitt is fortunate to have extremely rare 
examples of the original designs from which the porcelains 
were modeled and decorated, and in certain cases the 
drawings have been joined by the objects produced from 
them (Illustration 16). 

Like Meissen, the Sevres factory was commissioned 
to produce enormous personalized services; among the 
distinguished clients who purchased Sevres tablewares 
was the elegant Mme du Barry (17467-1793). Each piece 
of her service is painted with designs derived from 
classical sources which surround her initials (Illustration 
17). Sevres porcelains were also important diplomatic gifts 
among royalty; services were sent to Empress Maria 
Theresa, Catherine the Great of Russia, and the king of 
Denmark. In 1772 Sevres began producing a hard-paste 
porcelain not unlike those of other countries, but the 
factory's greatest period remains the decades during which 
it produced soft-paste porcelain. It is somewhat poignant 
that the last great soft-paste service made at Sevres was for 
its patron Louis XVI; this service was not completed until 
after the French Revolution when monarchy ceased to 
rule in France . 

Porcelain production in England flourished in social, 
economic, and political circumstances different from that 
of either Germany or France. Whereas on the Continent 
porcelain factories had generally been founded, patronized 
and subsidized by aristocratic guardians, there was no 
direct royal intervention in England. Factories were 



22 







'% 



V 




Illustration 16 
France, Sevres factory 

Verriere, 1772 

Soft-paste porcelain, enamel and gilded 

decoration 

Gift of the Estate of Charles Sampson: the 
Charles Sampson Memorial Fund 
1977-57-1 



France, mid- 18th century 

Drawing for a Verriere 

Purchase, Friends of the Museum Fund 
1938-88-8316 



23 



established through the efforts of middle-class entre- 
preneurs; for example, the factory at Chelsea (established 
about 1745) was managed in its early days by the 
silversmith Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1770). Although the 
aristocracy in England purchased substantial amounts of 
porcelain from native factories, it was their purchases 
rather than direct financial contributions which helped 
many factories survive. 

The earliest factory in England was possibly that at 
Bow; in 1744 a patent was taken out on a formula for 
porcelain and by 1749 the ingredients used at the factory 
included ground animal bones as a constituent part of the 
mixture. The burned bones were powdered and mixed with 
clay to attain the necessary strength for firing. By the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, English "bone-china" 
was commonplace. 

Although the Museum collection contains good 
examples of Chelsea, Bow, Derby and Caughley, some of 
the finest examples are those of Worcester (Illustration 18). 
The Worcester factory had its beginnings in the Bristol 
porcelain works established around 1749. By 1752 the 
factory was known as Worcester; early wares consisted of 
simple blue and white pieces, along with fine enameled 
objects. Particularly popular were representations of exotic 
birds, insects and flowers contained in gilt scrollwork 
borders. The reserve panels in which these designs were 
painted were often surrounded by rich ground colors; a 
favorite was a deep and lustrous blue. Not only were the 
exteriors of objects such as covered dishes painted, but 
sometimes the interior as well, providing a delightful (if 
somewhat unsettling) surprise in the form of insects at the 
bottom of the bowl (Illustration 19). 

Factories were established elsewhere in Europe during 
the eighteenth century, many of which are represented in 
the Cooper-Hewitts collection. Notable are the products of 
the Doccia factory, near Florence, Italy, begun in 1735 
under the patronage of Marchese Carlo Ginori 
(1701-1757). The Doccia factory used Chinese models for 
inspiration in their early wares, but later in the century 
produced objects of purely European form and decoration 
(Illustration 20). The elegant neoclassic shape of the 
coffee pot illustrated, for example, is derived from French 
models, and is enriched with two-color painting in a 
delicate and feathery style. 

The nineteenth century was an age of great changes for 




Illustration 17 
France, Sevres factory 

Covered Cup and Saucer, 1771, made for 

Mme du Barry 

Soft-paste porcelain, enamel and gilded 

decoration 

Gift of Mrs. John Jay Ide in memory of John 
Jax Ide. 

1977-52-29 



24 




Illustration 18 

England, Worcester factory 

Covered Dish and Tray, ca. 1775 
Porcelain, enamel decoration 

Bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane 
1926-22-475 



Illustration 19 

Detail of Illustration 18 



porcelain manufacturers. Industrialization of the craft had 
minimized the importance of the individual modeler or 
painter in favor of assembly-line production methods. 
Transfer-printing, in which an engraved pattern could be 
rapidly and repeatedly transferred to the surfaces of objects 
made hand-painting unnecessary. In addition, porcelain 
was challenged by new economic circumstances. In 
England, for example, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), 
introduced materials and techniques which supplanted 
porcelain — neoclassical forms derived from antique 
examples were copied in earthenware, a material more 
appropriate to classical shapes and decoration. The 
substitution of materials also reduced the cost of the basic 
raw material, and hence the expenses of production. 
Earthenware became highly fashionable again. It attracted 
an affluent middle-class audience while porcelain, once 
the exclusive prerogative of the wealthy aristocracy, was 
competing in the marketplace of the general populace. 
Porcelain companies which survived the great changes of 
taste and style of the period often revived earlier styles; 
one particularly favored during the first half of the century 
was the mid-eighteenth century rococo (Illustration 21). 

Independent craftsmen and designers countered 
these trends, and translated the material into a highly 
individualized art form. The history of late nineteenth and 
early twentieth century porcelain is more often concerned 
with individual artist's contributions rather than large 
companies. 

Important innovators in the latter part of the nineteenth 
century created the art nouveau style; represented in the 
Cooper-Hewitt collection are such figures as Hector 
Guimard (1867-1942) who worked in a porcellaneous 
stoneware . Other artists were called into service at 
surviving porcelain factories, including the still- active 
factory of Sevres; one of the luminaries of the art nouveau 
style was the designer and modeler Agathon Leonard (born 
1841) whose works were shown at the important Paris 
Exhibition of 1900 (Illustration 22). 

Another important concern in the late nineteenth 
century was the Copenhagen factory. It had previously 
enjoyed a brilliant reputation during the eighteenth 
century; in 1883 the Royal Porcelain factory was 
reorganized under the guidance of Philip Schou. Schou 
employed designers and artists of high caliber, such as 
Arnold Krog (1856-1931). Krog's fame resulted from 



n& 




Illustration 20 
Italy, Doccia factory 

Coffee Pot, ca. 1780-1800 
Porcelain, enamel decoration 

Gift of George B. and Georgiana L. McClellan 
1936-13-1 



26 




Illustration 21 

England, Coalbrookdale/Coalport factory 

Covered Bowl and Dish, ca. 1830 
Porcelain, enamel and gilded decoration 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Reeves 
1962-155-2 



27 



his virtuoso handling of underglaze painting, and his 
inspiration in the development of radiant crystalline glazes 
reminiscent of the splendid Chinese ceramics of the Ch'ing 
dynasty (Illustration 23). 

The Cooper-Hewitt continues to collect porcelains 
which illustrate the development of the medium from its 
beginnings to the present day. Indicative of the variety 
represented in the collection are a pair of bowls produced 
at the Ginori factory in Italy (Illustration 24). The bowls 
are dated 1924 and are in the an dec o style. They illustrate 
the twentieth-century work of the factory which began at 
Doccia in the early eighteenth century. 

Ceramics in all forms, and porcelain in particular, 
provide important insights into the culture and history of 
Europe, America, and the East. The Cooper-Hewitt 
collection, in its scope and range, preserves a portion of 
this history to be enjoyed and studied by present and future 
generations. 




David Revere McFadden 

Curator of Decorative Arts 








Illustration 23 

Denmark. Royal Copenhagen factory 

Vases, 1904, by V Engelhardt 
Porcelain 

Gift of J. Lionberger Davis 
1968-1-5,6,7 



Illustration 22 
France, Sevres factory 

"Danseuse", ca. 1895-1900, modeled by 
Agathon Leonard 
Bisque porcelain 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Alexander 
1910-41-1 



29 



Selected Bibliography 

General 

Charles, Rollo. 

Continental porcelain of the eighteenth 

century. 

London, Ernest Benn, Ltd.; Toronto, 

University oflbronto Press [1964] 

Charleston, Robert J., editor. 

World ceramics; an illustrated history. 

New York, McGraw-Hill, 1968. 

Cox, Warren E. 

The hook of pottery and porcelain . 

New York, Crown, 1970. 

Haggar, Reginald C. 

The concise encyclopedia of continental 

pottery and porcelain. 

New York, Hawthorn Books [1960] 



Hannover, Emil. 
Pottery and porcelain . 
London, Ernest Benn, Ltd. 



1925. 



Honey, William B. 

The art of the potter; a book for the collector 

and connoisseur. 

London, Faber and Faber [1946] 

European ceramic art from the end of the 

Middle Ages to about 1815 . 

New York, D. Van Nostrand Co. , 1949-. 

Leach, Bernard H. 

A potter's book. 

London, Faber and Faber [1940] 

Patterson, Jerry E. 

Porcelain. [The Smithsonian Illustrated 

Library of Antiques] 

New York, The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 

[1979] 

Savage, George. 
Porcelain through the ages. 
Baltimore, Penguin Books [1963] 



England 

Bemrose, Geoffrey. 

Nineteenth century English pottery and 

porcelain . 

London, Faber and Faber [1952] 

Charleston, Robert J., editor. 
English porcelain 1745-1850. 
London, Ernest Benn, Ltd. [1965] 

Dixon, Joseph L. 

English porcelain of the eighteenth century. 

London, Faber and Faber [1952] 

Honey, William B. 

English pottery and porcelain. 

London, A. & C. Black [1962] 

Old English porcelain; a handbook for 

collectors. 

London, Faber and Faber [1948] 

Savage, George. 

18th-century English porcelain. 

London, Rockliff [1952] 

English pottery and porcelain. 
London, Oldbourne Press [1961] 

France 

Alfassa, P. and Guerin, J. 

Porcelaines franqaises clu XVlIle au milieu du 

XIXe siecle . . . . 

Paris, A. Levy [1931] 

Chavagnac, Xavier Roger Marie Comte de, 
and Grollier, Gaston Antoine, Marquis de. 
. . .Histoire des manufactures franqaises de 
porcelaine . . . 
Paris, Picard, 1906. 

Honey, William B. 

French porcelain of the eighteenth century. 

London, Faber and Faber [1972] 

Savage, George. 

Seventeenth and eighteenth century French 

porcelain. 

London, Barrie and Rockliff [1960] 

Verlet, P., Grandjean, S. and Brunet, M. 

Sevres. 

Paris, G.Le Prat [1953] 



Germany 

Ducret, Siegfried. 

German porcelain and faience. 

New York, Universe Books [1962] 

Honey, William B. 

Dresden china; an introduction to the study of 

Meissen porcelain. 

London, Faber and Faber; New York, Pitman 

[1954] 

German porcelain . 

London [Faber and Faber, 1947] 

Savage, George. 

18th-century German porcelain. 

London, Rockliff [1958] 

China 

Honey, William B. 

The ceramic art of China and other countries 

of the Far East. 

New York, The Beechhurst Press [1954] 

Jenyns, Soame. 

Later Chinese porcelain, the Ch'ing Dynasty 

(1644-1912). 

London, Faber and Faber [1971 ] 

Ming pojttery and porcelain. 
London, Faber and Faber [1953] 



30 



Miscellaneous 

Grandjean, Bredo L. 

Kongelig Dansk porcelain, 1775-1884. 

K0benhavn, Thaning & Appel, 1962. 

Hayden, Arthur. 

Royal Copenhagen porcelain . . . 

London [etc.] T.F. Unwin, 1911. 

Hay ward. John F. 

Viennese porcelain of the Du Paquier period. 

London, Rockliff [1952] 

Lane, Arthur. 

Italian porcelain, with a note on Buen Retire 

London, Faber and Faber [1954] 

Lukomskii, Georgii K. 
Russisches Porzellan, 1744-1923. 
Berlin, E. Wasmuth, a.g., 1924. 




1 




Illustration 24 
Italy, Ginori factory 

Pair of Bowls, 1924 
Porcelain, enamel decoration 

Purchase 
1968-146-1.2 




502001 



Cooper- Hewitt Museum 




2 East 91st St. 

New York, N.Y. 10028 



I B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION^ NOIlfllllSNI NVIN0SHlWs"s3 I HVH 8 n~LI B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^INS 







00 Z ,~ ' CO Z CO w - 

z 
*\ o 

OlinillSNI_NVINOSHIIWS w S3 I a Va a I1_ LI B R AR I ESJSMITHSONIAN.. INSTITUTION NOIinillSNJ^NVINOSHilWS W S3 I 




I B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^INSTITUTION^NOIinillSNI^NVINOSHllWS^Sa I d VH a H^LI B RAR I ES Z SMITHS0NIAN~ I |NS1 






OlinillSN^NVINOSHllWS^a I MVa 8 H 2 LIB RAR I ES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTI0N W N0linillSNI~NVIN0SHllWS W S3l 




CO Z W X " Z j| .» > S \i*os*£/ > 

IBRARIES w SMITHS0NIAN_INSTITUTI0N w N0linillSNI_NVIN0SHllWS^S3iavyanfLIBRARIES W SMITHS0NIAN Z |NST 






c , 

H \ 

.-«• O -s^vosjii^ ~ O ^» 

OlinillSNI^NVINOSHlllNS S3 I h Va 3 II^LI B RAR I ES SMITHSONIAN ^INSTITUTION^OIIOIIISNI ^NVINOSHIIWS^ I i 







IBRARIES^SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIlfllllSNI NVIN0SH1IWS S3 I aVH a n~LIB RAR I ESSMITHSONIAN~INST 






DlinillSNI_NVIN0SHllWS^S3 I a Va a H Z LI B RAR I ES^SMITHSONIAN^ INSTITUTI0N W N0linill V SN! Z NVIN0SHllWS W S3 I i 





IBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOI I n I II cwi^MWiMncui iuuc 



O Xo*dC 

Z 

Cl i u w u a i-i 





2 

CO 





w 






SWAIS 



T»V ± 



> 



O* DC 

CO Z CO * ^ CO • Z CO ■£■ 

LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIlDillSNI NVINOSHJLIWS S3iyvyaiT LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN IN 
-co to — (/> — co 





^OlinillSNI^NVINOSHlMS S3iyvyaiT LIBRARIES Z SMITHSONIAN~ l |NSTITUTION :Z NOIinillSNl" J NIVINOSHllWS S3 
— v S [I 5 1 ? ^t^ — v z 





CO 

> IpI 

i/j — c/> — to :z w> — 

BRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOUfUllSNI NVINOSHJLIWS S3iyvyaiT LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN IN: 
• v> zr in 2» m z <s> z 









NOIinillSNI_NVINOSHlllMS S3iyvyail LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIinillSNI_NVINOSHllWS S3 
n . . z \ ^ ^ 5 <" ^ <o z \ Y 1 . 






O X^os*^ — O 

J ^ -J Z — _J Z _l -^ ."-J 

LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIifllllSNI NVINOSHilWS S3iyvaail LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN IN 
z r- z r- z 1 " ^ "" 






m 

_ C/J »w C/J — OT 

NOiiniusNi nvinoshiiws S3iyvyan libraries Smithsonian institution NouniiiSNi nvinoshiikis S3 

—» tt\ y C/) 

> 

CO Z W3*-S CO * Z CO Z 

LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NOIlDillSNI NVIN0SH1IWS S3iyvyail LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN IN 
co ^ to — to 2 '"z 

C/5 



NOIinifl^^NVINOSHlllAIS S3iyvyan LIBRARIES SMITHSONIAN^INSTITUTION NOIinillSNI^NVINOSHllirjS S3 






2> 
3 



">*WTIC 



4 



03 
33 

> 

33 

m